Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research findings enable more reliable prognoses for breast cancer

15.05.2008
Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have shown that the length of telomeres in blood cells in newly diagnosed breast cancer patients is tied to survival rates. The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, was carried out by a research team headed by Professor Göran Roos at the Department of Medical Bioscience, Pathology.

The study shows that the telomere length in blood cells is associated with prognosis for breast cancer. The blood cells of the cancer patients in the study had somewhat longer telomeres than those of controls. It is interesting to note that within the tumor group patients with longer telomeres (= longer than the mean length of telomeres) had a significantly poorer prognosis than did patients with shorter telomeres. This difference in survival was above all seen in patients with more advanced disease, that is, with larger tumors and metastases in local lymph glands.

It is particularly important that the telomere length in these blood cells proved to be a prognostic marker that is independent of other well-known prognostic markers (tumor size, tumor metastasis). In other words, this new biological marker appears to be able to tell us more about the future prospects of cancer patients than previously known markers can.

The tips of chromosomes, telomeres, are important for the genetic stability of our cells. In normal cells, telomeres are shortened each time cells divide, whereas cancer cells usually have stable telomere length. This stability helps provide cancer cells with eternal life. The length of a cell's telomeres is determined by the balance of positive and negative factors, many of which are unknown.

Just why breast cancer patients with longer telomeres in normal blood cells have poorer prognoses than other patients is unclear at present. A number of explanations are under discussion. One probable hypothesis is that patients' telomere lengths are a reflection of presently unknown functions of the immune defense system. Preliminary unpublished data from the research team show that this biological marker can provide prognostic information for other tumor diseases as well. This makes it even more important to understand the mechanisms behind the observed differences in telomere length.

The study was performed in collaboration with colleagues at the oncology and medical clinics at Norrland University Hospital and Malmö Academic Hospital. The study comprises 265 patients who gave blood samples directly after they were diagnoses with breast cancer and 446 controls.

For more information, please contact Professor Göran Roos, Department of Medical Bioscience, Pathology, phone: +46 (0)90-785 18 01; cell phone: +46 (0)70-630 86 92; or e-mail goran.roos@medbio.umu.se.

Pressofficer Bertil Born; +46-090 786 60 58;bertil.born@adm.umu.se;

Reference:
Svenson U, Nordfjäll K, Stegmayr B, Manjer J, Nilsson P, Tavelin B, Henriksson R, Lenner P, Roos G. Breast cancer survival is associated with telomere length in peripheral blood cells. Cancer Research 2008, published May 15.

Bertil Born | idw
Further information:
http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/future/68.10.shtml
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>